Diabetes Forecast

Adventure Roundup: Neville Lee

By Lindsey Wahowiak ,

Neville Lee

Motorcyclist and advocate on the open road

Age: 39
Home Base: Tampa, Florida
Diabetes: Diagnosed with type 2 at age 28 in 2006
Treatment Tools: Metformin and glyburide

Moving Right Along: Neville Lee is more than a weekend warrior. His motorcycle is his only form of transportation. When he moved to Florida seven years ago, he decided that sitting in traffic was a waste of time. “I wanted to enjoy my travels,” he says. “A motorcycle made the most sense. Once I got riding and really loved it, I ditched the car, and I’ve just been on two wheels ever since.”

Two Wheels, One Cause: In the spring of 2014, Lee was traveling to meet his girlfriend at a wedding in Las Vegas. Since he was going to be riding his motorcycle anyway, he decided to use the trip to bring some attention to diabetes. Within 60 days, 2 Wheels 1 Cause, his fundraising and awareness campaign for the American Diabetes Association, went from conception to reality. With the help of sponsors, Lee has scheduled events with media and local diabetes organizations in most cities he visits. By the end of this summer’s ride, he’ll have covered more than 25,000 miles and reached more than 1 million people. He says the most meaningful moments on the road are unplanned: chatting with strangers at rest stops and sharing stories about diabetes. “Those are the most important things, the fluid interactions I have. It’s the stories you get,” he says.

Metformin and More: Long rides and 14-hour days can be tough on the body—and on diabetes management. Healthy meal options can be few and far between. Metformin’s side effects mean Lee makes sure to take his medication around bathroom availability. Temperatures can be more than 120 degrees in Phoenix and below freezing in the mountains of Utah, so meter supplies and medications are kept in an insulated bag, which he stashes in his bike’s storage area, to protect them from extreme temperatures. Lee keeps a mixture of sports drink and water in a CamelBak backpack so he can hydrate on the road, but he walks carefully between keeping his electrolytes up and spiking his blood glucose. “It’s a mental balance,” he says. “You’re adjusting on the fly. There’s no fear; it’s just, ‘What is the solution?’ ”

This year’s 2 Wheels 1 Cause ride began June 2. Follow along at 2wheels1cause.org.



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